Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City: second half switches leave City exposed down their right

September 19, 2012
Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City: second half switches leave City exposed down their right

An excellent match, defined by a chaotic final 15 minutes.

Jose Mourinho surprisingly named Michael Essien, rather than Mesut Ozil or Luka Modric, in the centre of his midfield. Sergio Ramos was dropped, with Raphael Varane starting at centre-back instead.

Roberto Mancini also made a surprise selection decision, with Matija Nastasic starting over Joleon Lescott at the back. Yaya Toure played at the head of City’s midfield triangle.

Real dominated the majority of the game but twice fell behind, while City scored two goals against the run of play, before losing the game after some shambolic defending late on. Read more »

Dortmund 3-0 Leverkusen: Leverkusen caught out by Dortmund full-backs overlapping

September 17, 2012
Dortmund 3-0 Leverkusen: Leverkusen caught out by Dortmund full-backs overlapping

Dortmund recorded a comfortable victory over Leverkusen side that offered little attacking threat.

Jurgen Klopp named a side familiar from last season, with Marco Reus carrying a slight knock and therefore only on the bench.

Sami Hyypia made a single change, bringing in Jens Hegeler for captain Simon Rolfes.

This was an interesting formation battle that favoured Dortmund, whose movement had a clear purpose and was effective at dragging Leverkusen out of position, before exploiting the space on the flanks. Read more »

Sevilla 1-0 Real Madrid: Sevilla score after 2 minutes, then protect the lead for 88

September 16, 2012
Sevilla 1-0 Real Madrid: Sevilla score after 2 minutes, then protect the lead for 88

Sevilla triumphed in a fascinating tactical battle at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Sevilla coach Michel made an interesting selection decision, introducing Hedwiges Maduro into the midfield triangle. This pushed Piotr Trochowski forward to the left, and meant Manu had to settle for a place on the bench.

Jose Mourinho chose a familiar side, with Luka Modric on the bench. Gonzalo Higuain started ahead of Karim Benzema upfront.

There were two major phases to this game – the first half was about how well Sevilla’s initial gameplan worked, the second half was about how Mourinho adapted, and then the two coaches traded blows with substitutions until the end. Read more »